Ei Terasawa

Professor

Department:

Ei Terasawa Pediatrics

Contact Information:

  • (608) 263-3579

Other web pages:

Aligned research focus:

Children’s Health and Women’s Health

Organ system/disease focus:

Brain (Hypothalamus)

Research description:

My research focuses on elucidating the function of GnRH neurons and the mechanism of puberty onset. Because it is very difficult to conduct cellular and molecular studies in humans, some years ago we developed an excellent non-human primate model with a primary cell culture system, in vitro, and a measurement of GnRH release, in vivo. Both approaches are powerful, highly technical and unique in the field of neuroendocrine research. While GnRH cell cultures, derived from the embryonic nasal placode, provide the tool to study the mechanism of GnRH pulse-generation, the rapid actions of steroid hormones, and epigenetic control of GnRH neuronal maturation, the in vivo measurement of GnRH, other neuropeptides and neurotransmitters allows assessment of hypothalamic function under various physiological conditions, including the events across puberty. Currently, we are studying how an accelerated increase in body weight impacts the timing of puberty by analyzing epigenetic control of GnRH neuronal maturation and the epigenetic mechanism of estrogen action in GnRH neurons.

Selected references:

Noel, S.D., Keen, K.L., Baumann, D.I., Filardo, E.J., and Terasawa, E. 2009 Involvement of G-protein coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) in rapid action of estrogen in primate LHRH neurons. Mol. Endocrinol. 23: 349-359. PMID: 19131510

Terasawa, E., Kurian, J.R., Guerriero K.A., Kenealy B.P., Hutz, E.D., and Keen, K.L. 2010 Recent discoveries on the control of GnRH neurons in nonhuman primates. J. Neuroendocrinol. 22:630-638. PMID: 20456608

Kurian J.R., Keen, K.L., and Terasawa, E. 2010 Epigenetic changes coincide with in vitro primate GnRH neuronal maturation. Endocrinology 151:5359-5368. PMID: 20861233